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Capturing energy from lightning

We've all heard about how lightning can produce enough energy to power NYC for like a year. With all the lightning strikes that happen all over the world, I view this as a massive waste of electricity that we could use.

Obviously the challenge to this is storing that much power, but I think it could be done. What do you think?
I've been thinking about this too.
Just google it and you'll find a lot of people made this analysis: while the energy is powerful, the fact that a lightning just strikes for 0,025sec makes the total amount of energy very limited (I've seen numbers around 140Kw/h). 2 difficult problems remain: how to know where the lightning will strike, and how to harvest it.
As an example: Harvesting lightning energy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Anyway where do this statement come from (power NYC for a year)? Is it achieved by harvesting all the US territory lightning for 1 year too?


Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
Toronto, ON
Already been done. 1.21 gigawatts!


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